As the vote on independence approaches, a report shows that a notional index of 100 Scottish companies currently listed on the London Stock Exchange would have grown by 5.7% in real terms (with dividends reinvested) since 1955.
But it would have been outperformed by stocks from the rest of the UK, which rose 6.8% over the same period. The difference is due to the predominance of financial companies in the "Scotsie 100", and in particular the near collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS in the banking crisis. Without this, it would have outperformed the UK index by a small margin.
The report, by the London Business School and consultancy Walbrook Economics, uses the location of a company's headquarters to judge whether it is Scottish or not. Apart from financial companies such as banks and investment trusts, the Scotsie index is dominated by utilities, and oil and gas companies. The largest are energy business SSE, insurer Standard Life, Royal Bank of Scotland, FTSE100 engineer Weir Group and Aggreko, the generator manufacturer.Wot, no mention of A G Barr plc (maker of our other national drink)? The bigger whisky companies belong to multi-nationals of course, as do most of the bigger breweries - for example Tennents is owned by the Magners company - though the Caledonian Brewery (Deuchars and Caley 80/-) remains independent.